Teen fighting brain cancer will get potentially life-saving treatment

Friday, October 21, 2016
Medicaid agrees to fun teen's cancer treatment
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Medicaid has agreed to pay for Hunter Pietrowski's cancer treatment

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A Wake County teenager fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer will get a potentially life-saving medical treatment after first being denied.

Hunter Pietrowski was scheduled to have stem cell therapy on Wednesday. Hunter's mom, Tiffany Pietrowski, took the family's battle to Facebook right after she received the news from doctors at Duke Children's Hospital that the state Medicaid office was refusing to cover Hunter's treatment.

READ MORE: Fate of cancer-stricken boy may lie in Medicaid's hands

Hunter's parents filed an appeal to Medicaid Friday. Medicaid accepted the appeal and will pay for treatment. Before the appeal was accepted though, Duke Health officials told the family that Hunter's surgery would be paid for no matter the outcome after they secured funding from an anonymous donor..

Hunter was diagnosed in June with Medulloblastoma, and doctors successfully removed a golf ball-sized tumor from his brain. The cancer, though, was so aggressive that it had already spread to Hunter's spine.

The Pietrowski's explained the treatment plan includes radiation and chemotherapy that requires regular stem cell therapy for Hunter's 80-pound body to handle adult-dose chemotherapy.

Hunter's parents said Hunter is the real hero, because he's doing the hard work of surviving.

"In between getting his chemo treatment last night he was reaching for a bucket getting sick and then he still looks up and smiles," said Adam Pietrowski, Hunter's dad. "The kid is unbelievable. He lights up every room he goes in, and everybody tells us."

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